'The Castle' will be built in RegentA former Regent school could become “The Castle” by next fall after an area foundation placed the highest bid during a Regent City Council meeting Monday.
A former Regent school could become “The Castle” by next fall after an area foundation placed the highest bid during a Regent City Council meeting Monday.
After the city of Regent took over ownership of the now-vacant school in March or April 2009, it became too expensive to heat the nearly 30,000-square-foot building so it was put up for a bid, City Auditor Karen Kouba said.
Bids were opened Monday evening and bidders were then given a chance to increase their bids, Kouba said.
With a starting bid at $40,000, six to seven bids were received and the highest sat at $66,000.
That bid belonged to the Enchanted Highway Foundation.
Conjuring up a motel idea for nearly 10 years, two other ideas did not pan out as needed so when the school went up for bid, Enchanted Highway metal sculpture artist and Foundation President Gary Greff knew this was the chance.
“We made the down payment so I’m not backing away on this one,” Greff said with a chuckle. “It’s going to happen. ‘The Castle’ is going to be built in Regent.”
Work on the soon-to-be motel began Wednesday evening.
The building’s front will be designed as a castle, hence the moniker.
“You won’t be going into a school, you’ll be going into ‘The Castle’ and that’s my goal … to take away the school image so it’s no longer a school — it is a motel.”
The front of the school will be a housing unit for the manager and the motel will feature 20 rooms, Greff said.
“Eventually if we have to we’ll use the old school as overflow, but right now that’s not in the proposal,” Greff said.
There will be a courtyard. Flooring and walls will be laid with large stones similar to those used in castles, Greff said.
Long-term plans include a hot tub, weight room and community space.
Greff said the group aspires to start a dinner theater using the existing school’s stage.
Within the next week or so, engineers and designers will grace the building to start drawing up plans.
Greff said labor will be done on a share system, meaning builders will work for shares in the motel.
Greff said “The Castle” will be open by next year’s hunting season.
The $66,000 will go back into city funds, Kouba said.
“In the past, it’s been everybody doubted it would work for him, as far as the Enchanted Highway,” Mayor Terry Hartman said. “He’s proved himself by building these sculptures and stuff and we see a lot more traffic here.”
Greff said he did not expect bids to go so high.
“I think it’ll be exciting,” Greff said. “I think we’ve got a lot of potential.”